About This Quote
Source: Keith, Kent M. The Paradoxical Commandments: Finding Personal Meaning in a Crazy World. Maui: Inner Ocean Publishing, 2001. Additional Information: This quote is part of "The Paradoxical Commandments" poem written by Kent M. Keith. The "Commandments" were originally written as part of a booklet for student leaders in 1968. Keith later published his poem in the 2001 book The Paradoxical Commandments: Finding Personal Meaning in a Crazy World. Keith's words were popularized after it became known that Mother Teresa put the poem up on a bulletin board at her home for children in Calcutta. However, this quote and others from The Paradoxical Commandments are often misattributed to Mother Teresa. Here is the full poem:
The Paradoxical Commandments
by Dr. Kent M. Keith
People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.